Monday, October 08, 2007

Another Georgia death by a deer..................

66-year-old Ball Ground man was attacked and killed by a deer Sunday night, authorities said.

The deer — most likely a red deer, and not the more commonly found white-tailed deer — was one of several that John Henry Frix kept on his vast property on Trail of Tears Trail off Yellow Creek Road.

His relatives told sheriff's deputies that the deer had been very aggressive lately, chalking its behavior to rut — the period when deer mate.

Frix had gone out to tend to the deer about 7 p.m., county sheriff's Sgt. Jay Baker said. When he didn't return, his relatives called authorities.

Deputies found him about an hour and a half later lying inside one of the pens, 100 yards from the home. He had been gored several times in the upper body by the antlers of the deer, Baker said.

It appeared that Frix tried to fight off the animal, which was the size of a small elk, but was unsuccessful, authorities said.

Frix's family, reached by telephone Sunday night, did not want to talk about the death. One of them later killed the animal.

"I've heard about [such deaths] in the news, but I don't know if we've ever had a man killed by a deer in Cherokee County," Baker said.

Although deer kill about 150 people a year in the United States, most of these deaths occur when the animals collide with cars. However, deaths such as Frix's are not altogether uncommon.

Most attacks take place during rut — when daylight hours shorten. The results of mating produce an offspring in spring months when food in the wild is plentiful and the warm temperature prevents hypothermia.

During this time, the normally docile creatures become aggressive, locking antlers and fighting with other deer to prove their superiority as a breeding partner.

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